NEW ORLEANS – Jairus Byrd only needed one trip to decide where he wanted to go in free agency when it began Tuesday.
It just so happens that it occurred in October, when Buffalo played at New Orleans.
The Saints handed Byrd’s Bills a 35-17 loss in the Superdome that afternoon and 4½ months later, the safety agreed to terms on a six-year contract with New Orleans.
“We played against the Saints this year and I saw their style of play and was impressed by it,” Byrd said in a statement. “I think I will fit well in the scheme.”
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed by the club.
The Saints now have a hard-hitting safety tandem between Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro, a second-year defensive back whose all-in style earned praise throughout his rookie campaign from defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Byrd, the Buffalo Bills’ second-round pick in 2009, has gone to three Pro Bowls in his five seasons, including as a rookie. He has 22 career interceptions, second-most in the league since 2009, and became the first player since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to record three consecutive multi-interception games when he did so as a rookie.
He has 11 career force fumbles and three sacks.
“We think that his playmaking abilities will be an excellent fit with what we are trying to accomplish with our defense and in our secondary,” Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said.
The move helps New Orleans rebuild at a position that had only one player – Vaccaro – on the roster as the new league year began Tuesday afternoon.
New Orleans lost Malcolm Jenkins in free agency to Philadelphia earlier Tuesday and released safety Roman Harper in February.